10:59 AM

Province purchases motel to preserve housing in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS - The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased the former Lamplighter Motel in Kamloops to ensure people at risk of homelessness in the community continue to have a place to live. 

"With this purchase, people will get to stay in the homes they’ve been accustomed to over the past couple of years, ensuring they have a permanent, supportive home to live in close to friends and family," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "Through our permanent housing plan, our government is making temporary homes created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent, so that vulnerable people have a safe and stable foundation to build a better life.

Located at 1901 Trans-Canada Hwy. E., the one-storey building has 31 units, each with its own washroom. The building also has a reception area and an additional two-bedroom manager’s suite.

The former motel has been leased by BC Housing since October 2021 as temporary supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. By purchasing the property, residents will be able to remain in the building. BC Housing will apply for rezoning to transition these spaces into permanent supportive housing. In the meantime, the site will continue to operate as temporary housing. 

ASK Wellness Society, which has managed the site since October 2021, will continue to operate the building. The society will have staff on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide residents with support services, including daily meals, life-skills training, vocational supports, and health and wellness services. 

“A tapestry of supportive housing in Kamloops will ensure that people have the right supports and environment to improve their lives,” said Bob Hughes, chief executive officer, ASK Wellness Society. “While the Lamplighter program has historically supported individuals during environmental crisis situations, the operating model for this project has developed and grown in order to complement the existing housing models in community. As a transitional supportive housing program, the vision for Lamplighter is to provide culturally appropriate services to those who are prepared to embrace prioritizing their health, employment and educational advancement. We are proud to partner with Open Door Group to create vocational supports for those who have demonstrated a readiness to embrace those priorities.” 

The purchase is part of the Province’s permanent housing plan. Budget 2022 commits $264 million over three years to ensure approximately 3,000 people who were temporarily housed during the COVID-19 pandemic do not return to homelessness. 

Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 36,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 750 homes in Kamloops. 

Quick Facts: 

  • The Province, through BC Housing, invested approximately $4.8 million for the purchase and renovation of the former motel. 
  • An independent appraisal of the site was completed in August 2022 and supports the purchase price. 

Learn More: 

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC 

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/